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October 1969

Quantitative Olfactometry in the Measurement of Posttraumatic Hyposmia: A Simple Method

Author Affiliations

Danville, Pa
From the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, Pa. Dr. Caruso is now with the Jefferson Medical Center, Philadelphia; Dr. Hagan is in private practice in Kingston, Pa; and Dr. Manning is in private practice in State College, Pa.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(4):500-503. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030502018

THE SENSE of smell is usually measured qualitatively by asking the patient to identify an easily recognizable substance by sniffing. In this test, memory, association, and intelligence all play a role.1 Furthermore, hyposmia, or a decreased sense of smell, cannot be measured in this way. Attempts at quantitative, clinical olfactometry2-4 have generally been discarded as inaccurate, cumbersome, or too time consuming for office use. However, in 1923, the distinguished rhinologist, Dr. Arthur Proetz described a simple, accurate, clinical method of quantitative olfactometry.5 Posttraumatic anosmia has been measured by various investigators.6-8 Leigh measured 7.2%9 and Sumner 7.5%10 of anosmia after head injury. Furthermore, the incidence of anosmia is reported to increase with the severity of the head trauma. There have been very few studies, however, of posttraumatic hyposmia. This study proposes to reproduce the results obtained by Proetz and apply his method to the measurement

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